Pedagogy Seminars

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Seminars available online:

Student panel, October 5th, 2015

Classes at Mines from the student point of view

A panel of five Mines students field questions regarding their educational experiences, the classes that work for them, and those that don't.


Paul Johnson, September 22nd, 2015

Remarks on teaching and learning at Mines

President Paul Johnson discusses his vision for education at Mines.


Sam Spiegel, September 8th, 2015

Designing and facilitating small group projects

Sam Spiegel is the director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. He shares a variety of tips regarding how best to incorporate small group projects into a course.


Colin Terry, April 10th, 2015

Student attentional control and media multitasking

Continual integration of technology within the classroom has prompted new fervent concern around student misuse of technology in educational settings including media-enabled multitasking and technology-enabled distraction. Marci (2012) found that students task-switch an average of 27 times per hour, or once every two minutes. Classrooms are not immune to such multitasking behavior. Data from Kraushaar and Novak (2006) suggests that students multitask 42% of class time. The average student opens sixty-five computer windows per class period, 62% of which can be classified as distracted or off-task (Kraushaar & Novak, 2006).

Empirical research on media multitasking routinely notes undesirable educational outcomes such as hindered productivity, heightened distraction, and diminished scholastic performance. Little research exists, however, on student attitude related to media multitasking. In addition, no known study has measured student metacognition against technology use and held attitudes towards media multitasking. These are significant motivation gaps that may better inform pedagogical responses to this persistent phenomenon.

This pedagogy lecture will review extant media multitasking research. In addition, we will cover findings from a self-report study administered at Colorado School of Mines in Spring 2014. Twenty-five percent of the undergraduate population completed the 80-question measure focused on technology use, student attitude, self-regulation, and metacognitive awareness. The presentation will end with promising recommendations for pedagogical approaches to combating misuse of technology within the classroom.


Jered Dean and Leslie Light, March 17th, 2015

Experiments in interdisciplinary design

Dr. Jered Dean manages the senior design capstone program for several engineering disciplines. Leslie Light is the director of the EPICS program. Both offer valuable insight into teaching the design process to interdisciplinary student populations.


Christian Shorey, November 4th, 2014

Creating original media for the classroom

Dr. Christian Shorey is in charge of the GEGN 101 course involving large (>100 students/section) freshman classes. The challenge of keeping the attention of students with broadly diverse backgrounds and abilities has led Christian to explore audio and video media. Since coming to CSM, Christian has produced the Earth and Environmental Systems podcast and set up the contract with Apple for our iTunesU account. In this presentation, Christian will go over some of the ways he uses media in lectures and labs as part of the active learning process, or as external supporting material. Christian will also cover the basics of how various media is produced, and where and how to post material for students and the public.


Vince Kuo, Judy Schoonmaker April 15th, 2014

The state of Studio at CSM

Studio and SCALE-UP – developed at RPI and NCSU respectively – have a long history in Physics Education Research and at the Colorado School of Mines. CSM has been using Studio methods continuously since 1997, when the physics department implemented pilot sections of introductory calculus-based mechanics. Since then, Studio at CSM has expanded steadily. As of 2014, all of Physics I & II and Biology I are taught via Studio, with other pilot sections and interests. In this talk, we’ll briefly review the overall structure and pedagogy of Studio Physics. The remainder will focus on the actual adaptation of Studio in Biology, highlighting a number of similarities and differences.


Colin Terry, March 6th, 2014

Advising at Mines - Structure, best practices, and resources

Not unlike many aspects of CSM, the advising and academic support services have dramatically changed in the last three years. Join Colin Terry & CASA for a pedagogy lecture that considers best practices in advisement at Mines. More specifically, our presentation will: (1) Review CASA advising and retention efforts with comprehensive findings from first-year classes of 2012 and 2013, (2) Introduce new university advising resource website for Faculty Advisors and student advisees, and (3) address key advising considerations on the eve of summer and fall registration. This presentation is recommended for faculty advisors, academic administration, and administrative colleagues.


Cyndi Rader, February 26th, 2014

Online courses at Mines: One perspective

The EECS department offers two online courses: Web Programming and Web Applications. These are currently the only online courses offered at Mines. In this talk I will describe my involvement with those courses, and will share some thoughts regarding:

- types of courses that are most suitable for online delivery,

- developing assignments for online courses,

- assessing student performance in an online course,

- challenges of offering a course that has no common meeting time, and

- student perceptions of online courses

My plan is to describe how these two courses operate but leave plenty of time for discussion.


Eric Toberer and Pat Kohl, December 3rd, 2013

Teaching upper-division physics with the flipped classroom

The flipped classroom is gaining popularity as a way of blending the best of online and in-person education, but efforts so far have been limited mostly to introductory classes. This past semester, Eric Toberer and Pat Kohl have been running variants of the flipped classroom in each of PHGN440 and PHGN462 (solid state physics and advanced E&M). We'll be reporting on our methods, our motivations, and some early data. Much of the talk will be informal in tone, sharing our impressions of what it's actually like to run a class in this way, and our observations of how students respond.


Kristine Callan, Oct 29th, 2013

Team-Based Learning and its implementation at Duke University

Team-Based LearningTM (TBL) is one of the many methods that have recently been developed for “flipping” a classroom (i.e., moving content delivery outside of the classroom, freeing up in-class time for interacting with the material). The motivation for doing so is often to shift the course goals from “knowing” to “applying” and the students’ roles from “passive” to “active” so that (hopefully) deeper learning takes place.

There is more than one way to flip a classroom, however, so in this talk I will describe the TBL method as prescribed by the people who developed (and trademarked) it. I will also discuss how 17 faculty at Duke University collaborated to implement TBL-like methods in a variety of classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level with the help of a fellowship created by Duke’s Center for Information Technology. The faculty found that the campus-wide fellowship was helpful for trying innovating teaching methods like TBL for the first time.

While there is not yet enough data to say whether or not TBL improved student learning in these flipped courses as compared to their traditional counterparts, there are preliminary indications that students and faculty are benefiting from the new approach.


Dendy Sloan and Cynthia Norrgran, October 3rd 2013

The German army, an explosion, and a bicycle accident: How the brain learns and solves problems

In these short 45 minutes, we will provide a new, macroscopic hypothesis for how the brain learns, and a well-established microscopic theory of memory, based upon modern neuroscience evidence. Along the way, we’ll look at three human case studies, so the seminar is not too dry.

Francis Crick said, concluding a 1979 Scientific American issue on the brain, “What is conspicuously lacking is a broad framework of ideas (about the brain).” We believe the last 34 years have provided evidence to construct a “broad framework” hypothesis about how the brain works. We’ll also provide attendees with a sheet of seven pedagogical guidelines from neuroscience.

This seminar will state the “bottom lines” of our new book, Neuroscience, Memory, and Learning. As a minimum, attendees should have a nice, free sandwich; come early for food – we’ll start talking at noon. As a maximum, attendees will come away inspired, with hard-science evidence for how to be a better learner. (Individual results may vary).


Other seminars:

February 17th, 2015 Jane Maurer, CSM CCIT Blackboard - features and applications

December 2nd, 2014 John Steele, CSM department of mechanical engineering Bending the classroom: A half-flipped approach to robotics

September 16th, 2014 Kay Schneider, CSM director of assessment Using classroom assessment techniques

January 21st, 2014 Jane Maurer, CSM CCIT Blackboard - features and applications

April 30th, 2013 Junko Marr, CSM department of civil and environmental engineering Time-effective strategies to improve undergraduate retention in engineering[[1]]

April 16th, 2013 Jeff Howard, iClicker The iClicker 2 - Features and applications

April 15th, 2013 Chris Rasmussen, SDSU department of mathematics and statistics Who chooses not to persist in calculus and why?

March 27th, 2013 Tracy Gardner, CSM deparment of chemical and biological engineering Student retention and FACTIR

November 27th, 2012 John Falconer, CU-Boulder deparment of chemical and biological engineering Using screencasts to teach chemistry

November 6th, 2012 Barry Martin, CSM SPACE Distance education, virtual learning, and MOOCs

October 9th, 2012 An open discussion of online education Moderators: Pat Kohl, Tracy Gardner

April 12th, 2012 Charlie Baily, CU department of physics Clickers in upper-division courses

March 20th, 2012 Judy Schoonmaker, CSM department of chemical and biological engineering Clickers in high school and introductory biology

February 29th, 2012 Todd Ruskell, CSM department of physics An introduction to Clickers in university courses

November 21st, 2011 Charlie Baily, CU department of physics Benefits and challenges of interactive engagement in upper-division courses

November 7th, 2011 Kay Schneider, CSM director of assessment Panel discussion on departmental applications of assessment data

October 24th, 2011 Matt Liberatore, CSM department of chemical and biological engineering Youtube Fridays - Youtube videos in the classroom

September 30th, 2011 Shane Brown, WSU department of civil engineering Conceptual change in mechanics of materials courses

April 25th, 2011 Frank and Susan Kowalski, CSM department of physics Tablet PCs in the classroom

March 29th, 2011 Manohar Arora and Candice Sulzbach, CSM departments of mining and civil engineering Implementing web-based homework in statics courses

March 7th, 2011 Dendy Sloan and Cynthia Norrgran, CSM department of chemical and biochemical engineering Neuroscience in education - Part II

February 28th, 2011 Dendy Sloan and Cynthia Norrgran, CSM department of chemical and biochemical engineering Neuroscience in education - Part I

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